As RSL continues to give up that late goal, squash that perfect touch and tie that would-be win, it’s no wonder that Kyle Beckerman’s shot in the 23rd minute was a perfect metaphor for his team’s season in a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo.
After chasing down a perfect length-of-the-field pass, forward Robbie Findley drew Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad out of the box, setting Beckerman up with an empty-net shot off Findley’s pass. However, just as has been the case all season, Beckerman’s shot went through Onstad’s legs towards the net only to be denied by Houston’s Bobby Boswell at the last second. Call it close or unlucky, but it’s still not getting the job done.
Through RSL’s 10 home games this season, coach Jason Kries’ team has outplayed every opponent that has stepped onto the field, but Salt Lake’s inability to finish teams off has hurt them in the win column.
“All our ties have happened when we’ve been the better team,” said RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman. “It’s disappointing, but overall we did some good things tonight.”
Despite the missteps along the way, Real was sitting pretty, tied for second in the Western Conference coming into Thursday night’s game.
After a scoreless first half, Real Salt Lake unleashed a barrage of shots early in the second 45, but still could not find the back of the net. Findley fired a shot from distance that sailed wide, while Kenny Deuchar’s header of a corner nearly found its way through the pipes. Unfortunately for RSL, another tie keeps Salt Lake out of first place once again.
In the closing minutes of the game, RSL’s Chris Wingert was rewarded a red card after an altercation ensued. Not long after, the ref blew the whistle to finish the game though it appeared stoppage time was still left on the clock.
“I give my team an enormous amount of credit. They were passionate tonight,” said Real coach Jason Kries. “I thought the atmosphere — everything was spectacular tonight except the referees.”
Remaining in second place in the Western Conference with the tie, RSL will try once again to make the jump to the top of the conference for the first time in team history.